Sunday, 28 February 2010

At Winter's End ...

... the first signs of Spring appear.
The blue tits are busy nesting in the nest box on our neighbours' wall.
The first Spring flowers appear in our garden.
Dwarf Iris
Winter Aconites
Yellow Crocuses

Indoors, the white grape hyacinths are growing.

And I baked another cake from The Hummingbird Bakery book. This one is a lemon and poppy seed cake, which I have decorated with Spring flower-shaped sprinkles.

I also baked some blackcurrant muffins, using homegrown blackcurrants that I had frozen.

February 2010

If January was defined by snow, then February has been defined by rain!
The catkins shake in the wind like lambs' tails.
Snowdrops are the first wild flowers of the year to appear.
Fungi growing on Elder trees.
The smooth bark of the Wild Cherry trees shines in the weak sun.
The first leaves of the wild honeysuckle unfold.
Lichen decorates the bare winter branches.
Fantastic shapes of moss covered trees are visible in the woodland.
These ones look like Ents toes to me! :)
March 1st tomorrow, with the mad March winds to blow me to work each morning and more signs of Earth re-awakening after the winter.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Unravel 2010

This weekend unravel is holding it's 2nd show at Farnham Maltings. I braved the rain Saturday morning, clutching my camera and purse, and set off for the show.

As soon as I reached a nearby car park, I knew that I was in the right place as many of the lamp posts had been yarn bombed.

Farnham Maltings

Outside of the Maltings was a "Where's Wally Tree",at least that is what I called it, or it could be a "Cat in the Hat Tree".

Outside were these Gotland Sheep.

More yarn bombing around the pillars in the reception area.

The cat on the reception desk received a lot of attention.

Nature Pillar Close up

A row of the pillars.

Knitted tree.

Knitted Sarnies

Vintage Displays were dotted around the place.

Vintage Yarn Box.

This way ....

... to the Market Place.
There was a display of art students' work ...

Work In Progress by Emily Barnard.

Decorative Panels by Fay McCaul.

Wolseley Sheep Shearing Machine and Mole with "Please keep off the grass" sign!

I then went upstairs to wool heaven. There was a beautiful display of knitted items and everyone voted for the one they preferred. There was also a lecture hall, but it was so crowded that there wasn't any standing room left!

Downstairs there were people learning to knit, crochet, spin and weave.

I came home with a small amount of wool! ;)
From The Natural Dye Studio:-
On the left - 4ply British Blue Faced Leicester wool that I am going to use to crochet the scarf pattern. On the right - 4ply Baby Alpaca, Cashmere & Silk yarn to crochet another scarf/shawl. It is sooo soft and snuggily.
From Fyberspates:-
2 skeins of 4ply Cashmere and Silk. Another luxuriously soft yarn to make a wide scarf. I'm planning to use the feather and fan pattern with this yarn.
I think 2010 is going to be The Year of the Scarf for me! :)

I also bought a selection of buttons and a shawl pin.
All of the buttons are Mother of Pearl, except for the plastic hens.
Some will be used on garments, some on crocheted brooches and some to decorate my padded coat hanger covers that I am crafting at the moment.
Lastly I bought this ceramic heart from Incomparable, a company that gives employment to women in South Africa. I will turn it into a pendant.
If I am good and manage to make all of my planned items and finish all of my WIPs, I will definitely try to go to next year's unravel! Did anyone else go?

Monday, 15 February 2010

For My Valentine ...

... I baked a cake.
A Brooklyn Blackout Cake from my new recipe book The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.I also baked some of my usual fairy cakes and decorated them with rose-flavoured butter icing.
My Valentine with his cake.
A dozen red roses from my Valentine
and our cards. I couldn't resist the cheeky one for my husband :)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Butterflies and Knitting

Last Saturday, we visited RHS Wisley to see the butterflies in the glasshouse.

Owl (Caligo memnon)

Achilles Morpho (Morpho achilles)

I think these are a Scarlett Swallowtail (at the back) and a Common Mormon

Malachite (Sipoeta stelenes)

A rather ragged Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides)

Malay Lacewing (Cethosia biblis)

Blue Morpho
A few of the beautiful blooms in the glasshouse -
Orchid Masdevallia schroederiana
Grevillea Robyn Gordon
Grevillea johnsonii

Where's the bread?
My favourite flowers this time of year are snowdrops, hellebores and winter aconites

We made a fuss of Sunny the garden cat.
Back home this week, Maurice sunning himself on my car! Naughty boy!
I posted the giveaway prize to Ren.
It was a scarf, inspired by all this cold weather.

I am "into" crocheting flowers at the moment, from the book "100 flowers to knit & crochet". The one on the gift doubles up as a decoration and a brooch and I have just made a similar one for myself. I'm still knitting my "tank top" and I am taking part in the Winter Knitting Olympics by knitting some coat hanger covers. I plan to decorate them with crocheted flowers.